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Photograph by Brian Harker
FABUOUS FLAPJACKS: They don't mess around at the Roadhouse.

Comfort at the Roadhouse

A revitalized Davenport Roadhouse does breakfast justice

By Christina Waters

BREAKFAST on a recent spectacular spring day required something a bit out of the ordinary. So we headed up the coast to Davenport, hiked around the cliffs fragrant with alyssum and salt air and took our soaring appetites back to the Roadhouse for a major morning meal.

Deciding to celebrate daylight savings time, we ordered a house signature Bloody Mary as well as grapefruit juice and cups of excellent, strong coffee. Crisp blue ocean and Monterey's foothills beyond made a soothing frame for this vintage interior. Original plein air oils of many of the views we were admiring in the distance lined the walls. Nice to see the monumental stone fireplace and the antique oak furniture still in use, though much is revamped and expanded in the landmark dining area and huge entry room.

Let the record show that our Bloody Mary—stuffed with olive, pepperoncini, lemon, lime and a giant celery stalk—was essentially a meal in a glass! Before we had enjoyed more than a few sips of the bracingly spicy cocktail, our breakfasts arrived steaming from the kitchen.

Huevos rancheros arrived on a large square platter, the scrambled eggs arranged abundantly on a bed of tortillas, black beans and cheese and topped with sour cream and plenty of fresh chopped cilantro ($11.95).

My very thin, very large, very sour trio of pancakes proved to be exactly what I had hoped for. Golden and tender, they were a far cry from the usual fat, Michelin tire–sized mats of dough that pass as pancakes at most breakfast palaces. With them a little pitcher of pure maple syrup came, not cold, but slightly warmer than room temperature, and a fat square of butter.

Everything worked, including the delicious bacon, three pieces, very lean. I've always looked forward to the exciting flavor tension between the saltiness of bacon and the pungent sweetness of maple syrup. And I got it all in this order. The pancakes were memorable, and while they didn't make much flavor sense with the Bloody Mary, (1) I didn't care, and (2) that's where the very fine coffee came in.

Our server was as fresh and awake as the meal itself—attentive, swift to bring extra this and that, and yet neither hovering nor precious, as in "my name is Tatania, etc., etc."

After our meal, we lingered a while at the new Davenport Gallery next door, where we got an eyeful of skillful paintings and sculpture by some top local artists. Breakfast, the Davenport cliffs and springtime—yes, sometimes it does all make sense. I'm thinking that the Roadhouse Breakfast Burrito, full of sausage, black beans, potatoes and salsa all wrapped up in a big flour tortilla, might just be my next Sunday breakfast at the Roadhouse.

Davenport Roadhouse

Highway 1 and Davenport Avenue, Davenport


Tue–Fri 8am–9pm; Sat–Sun 8am–9pm (breakfast until noon); closed Monday

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